U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) is threatening to delay all action in the Senate unless Democratic leaders agree to let an energy bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling reach the Senate floor. A Murkowski ally, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), has proposed to tack the entire GOP energy bill onto a $345 billion anti-terrorism defense bill. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) had hoped to complete work on the defense bill this week, but the energy fracas has forced him to shelve it. Murkowski and his ilk argue that drilling in the Arctic Refuge would boost the country’s national security by making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil. Opponents like Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) say that drilling in the refuge would provide only six months of oil for the country, while damaging a pristine environment. Said Kerry, “I’m troubled by cynical efforts to divide us under the guise of national security.”